Take a celestial break in the road churches of Espoo

Throughout Finland, road churches welcome visitors during the summer months. If you are looking for some change of scenery, come inside and have a different type of break. Enjoy the peace, beauty and sacred atmosphere. The sanctuary invites you to quiet down and cool down on a hot and hectic day and provides shelter when it rains.

Road churches and their well cultivated environment open up a window to history, architecture and culture. Also in metropolitan Espoo you can have a celestial break at three mutually very different churches.
 

The Espoo Cathedral is a medieval grey granite church at the shore of Espoo River. It has been been around for more than 500 years. The church was built between 1485 and 1490. Of the original building only the east and west structures have remained. Their medieval paintings can now be admired again. The new organ was inaugurated in 2012. The church can accommodate 550 worshipers and is the most popular wedding church in Espoo.

  • Espoo Cathedral, Kirkkopuisto 5, is open from 6 June to 20 August, on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A guide is present on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
  • Lutheran Mass on Sundays and Christian holidays at 10 a.m.
  • Evening music on summer Sundays from 5 June to 28 August at 7 p.m. Free entry.
  • Urkuyö ja aaria (Organ Night and Aria) concerts on Thursdays from June to August at 10 p.m. Programmes and tickets: www.urkuyofestival.fi.
     

Otaniemi Chapel is renowned the world over for its architecture. It was designed by Kaija and Heikki Siren. The chapel was built in 1957 and is situated on the campus of Aalto University. The wall behind the altar of the sanctuary is made up of large windows and shows the natural landscape behind the church. A large white metal cross is erected outside and visible through the window. The building materials of the chapel are wood and red brick. The court leading to the entrance is surrounded by a high wooden fence. It is easy to sense the sacred atmosphere while quietly observing the altar landscape. Nature, architecture and society are one.

  • Otaniemi Chapel, Jämeräntaival 8, is open from 6 June to 31 August on weekdays from 11 to 4 p.m.
     

Tapiola Church was designed by professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. It represents modern architecture and is protected by the city development plan. The building is completely surrounded by concrete walls. The highest part is the cubiform sanctuary. In contrast with the blind concrete walls the the glass walls are minimalistic. The church was built in 1965 and expanded in 1992.

  • Tapiola Church, Kirkkopolku 6, is open from 1 June to 31 August on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lutheran Mass on Sundays at 10 a.m. Midweek Mass on Wednesdays at 8 a.m.
  • "Music around noon" from 31 May to 30 August on Tuesdays from 12 to 12:30 p.m.

All road churches in Finland: www.tiekirkot.fi

Otaniemi Chapel is one of the road churches at summertime.
Photo: Mirja Aukee-Peiponen.